Visit by Blevis and others

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Today Ph.D. student Anders Lundström presented his thesis ”Designing Energy-Sensitive Interactions – Conceptualising Energy from the Perspective of Electric Cars” and we had various celebrities visiting us:

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Opponent: Ron Wakkary, professor, School of Interactive Arts and Technology Simon Fraser University, Canada
Examination committee:
Eli Blevis, professor, School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University, USA
Elisa Giaccardi, professor, TU Delft, Netherlands
Johan Redström, professor, Designhögskolan Umeå universitet
Substitute:  Associate professor Cecilia Katzeff, Centre for Sustainable Communication, KTH, Stockholm

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As part of coming to visit us, we ask our visitors to give short talks and Eli, Elisa and Ron gave three 30-minute talks earlier during the day:

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Eli Blevis, ”Design in the Age of Climate Change”

Professor of Informatics | School of Informatics and Computing (SoIC), Indiana University Bloomington

Visiting Professor of Interaction Design | School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Eli Blevis is Professor of Informatics in the Human-Computer Interaction Design (HCI/d) program of the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University, Bloomington. He is also a Visiting Professor at the Hong Kong Polytechnic School of Design. His primary area of research, and the one for which he is best known, is sustainable interaction design. His research also engages visual thinking—especially photographic foundations of HCI, and design theory—especially transdisciplinary design.

Elisa Giaccardi, ”What It’s Like to be a Thing in Design”

Professor of Interactive Media Design
, Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology

Elisa Giaccardi is full professor of Interactive Media Design at the Department of Industrial Design Engineering, and one of the recipients of the TU Delft Technology Fellowship for top female scientists. Her background brings together humanities, digital media, and interaction design. She is the editor of Heritage and Social Media (Routledge, 2012), in which she uses heritage as a lens to understand how emerging information and communication technology and services are changing the way in which people participate in the assessment and passing on of the ‘things we value’. Her work on metadesign has been foundational, among other initiatives worldwide, to the Metadesigners Open Network. Her design work has been referenced in several publications including The Tuning of Place by Richard Coyne (MIT Press, 2010), and has been featured by Peter Wright and John McCarthy in Experience-Centered Design: Designers, Users and Communities in Dialogue (Morgan & Claypool, 2010) together with that of Jayne Wallace and Bill Gaver.

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Ron Wakkary, ”Things of Practice”

Professor | School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser Universty

Ron Wakkary is a Professor in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT) where he established the Everyday Design Studio, a design research studio that explores interaction design. Wakkary’s research investigates the changing nature of interaction design in response to everyday design practices like home life, DIY, amateur experts, hobbyists, and sustainability. In the spirit of design research, Wakkary aims to be reflective and generative, uncovering new and emergent practices of design that help to shape both design and its relations to technologies

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All three talks concerned different aspects of design, but only Eli Blevis’ talk was also about sustainability. What I found most interesting was Blevis’ graphical representation of the relationship between design in relation to the past, the present and the future:

  • past: design criticism, how design may be understood
  • present: critical design, design that makes you think
  • future: critical design, ”design that matters”. What matters for our future is what design ought to be about

Blevis also re-connected his talk to his ”original” 2007 paper and the following themes (that ”kicked off” Sustainable HCI):

  • linking invention & disposal
  • promoting renewal and reuse
  • promoting quality and equality
  • de-coupling ownership and identity
  • using natural models and reflection

One thing I personally found interesting was that Blevis ended his talk by referred to his 2012 paper on ”Collapse informatics” and on ”collapse” as a key (likely) scenario for the future (that we should consider/design towards). He also briefly discussed the predominant strategy of ”mitigation” in relation to the elephant in the room, ”adaptation”.

 

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